Locals in some villages in Mozambique’s restive northern Cabo Delgado province have begun returning to their homes as calm and stability is restored in their areas following an escalation in violence in the region earlier this year..
A statement by the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) on Tuesday said the reopening of roads from the city of Pemba to Macomia, Awasse, Muenda and Nangade and “consistent patrols” by SAMIM and Mozambican forces had restored public confidence that the risks of being attacked had greatly reduced.
These roads, SAMIM said, had been blocked by the Islamist insurgents since the armed conflict begun and were used strategically to capture and isolate the towns from outside assistance.
SAMIM added that a year-long electricity blackout in the town of Muenda was also over with the restoration of power by local authorities due to the confidence from the intensified security.
“The return of electricity in this town has led to the resumption of other socio-economic activities such as restoration of telecommunications and banking services paving way for other sectors of the economy like transportation and movement of goods and services to resume without any fear of attacks,” the statement said.
“SAMIM forces in support of the Government of Mozambique continue to create conditions necessary for a return to normal life in the Province of Cabo Delgado as it pursues the insurgents.”
SAMIM pledged to continue working work closely with other stakeholders to ensure that life returns to normalcy in Cabo Delgado.
Mozambique’s northern province has been plagued by an Islamist insurgency since 2017.
The violence, the worst one in the country since the start of the insurgency, offset major gas exploration projects in the region and raised fears it could spread to neighbouring countries, placing pressure on Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi to accept foreign troops.
In late June, the 16-member SADC agreed to send troops to the province a week after Rwanda announced its intention to deploy troops to the area. The SAMIM troops were deployed to the southeast African nation last month a day after Rwandan and Mozambican troops took control of the key town of Mocimboa da Praia.